Thought by many to be a modern invention, open plan living has actually been around for over 100 years. In 1901, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright published an article in Ladies Home Journal, one of the leading American women’s magazines of the 20th century. It proposed a radically new layout for the home that placed the kitchen in the centre with a number of fluid spaces leading off it. This new way of living would enable family members to ‘do their own thing, but all together.’
The idea took a while to catch on and, in the UK at least, we’ve only started embracing open plan living in the last 25 years. The way we live and entertain has become less formal with the kitchen no longer consigned to the back of the house. Families with young children like the idea of knocking walls down so they can see them (although many dream of reinstating them once toddlers become teenagers) and budding chefs do not want to be isolated in another room, away from the action.
While providing a relaxed and sociable way of living, open plan spaces do present a number of design challenges. How do you avoid a hanger like effect? How do you introduce warmth and interest when you have so few walls?! Read on to discover our 5 top tips…..